Gumstix

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Gumstix, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Computer systems
Founded 2003
Headquarters Portola Valley, California
Key people Gordon Kruberg, CEO
Products Complete computer systems, Gumstix Overo and verdex pro computer-on-modules, and a series of I/O expansion boards with accessories
Employees Under 25
Website www.gumstix.com

Gumstix is an American multinational company headquartered in Portola Valley, California that develops and manufactures small computers-on-module (COMs), compatible expansion boards and single-board computers. Gumstix' name is derived from its first COM being approximately the size of a stick of gum.[1][2][3] While the designs of Gumstix COMs have always been closed-source, Gumstix-developed expansion boards are open-source, with schematics published under a Creative Commons Share-alike license.[4] Gumstix hardware supports a variety of Linux distributions; the most widely used distributions are developed with the Yocto Project build system.

Products[edit]

Gumstix products have been used in various commercial, educational and hobbyist projects such as power management metering devices, medical devices, security and personnel management products, wireless and hand-held products, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and robotics.[5]

Documentation for Gumstix products is supported online in several different forms, including articles, FAQ lists, a user-maintained wiki and a mailing list archive. While Gumstix' official documentation is focused on technical and engineering information, a sizeable community exists for collaborative user support.

Computers on Module[edit]

Overo and DuoVero Series[edit]

Gumstix two flagship product lines are its Overo and DuoVero series of COMs. The Overo series is based on Texas Instruments' OMAP3 systems on chip built on the ARM Cortex-A8 architecture. The DuoVero series is based on the Texas Instruments OMAP4 platform, built on the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture. Overo and DuoVero series COMs measure 17 mm W x 58 mm L x 4.2 mm H, slightly smaller than the average stick of gum.[6]

Verdex Pro Series[edit]

The Verdex Pro series COMs are based on the Marvell XScale processors built on the ARMv5 architecture. Verdex Pro series COMs measure 20mm W x 80 mm L x 5.3mm H.

Expansion Boards[edit]

While COMs provide the critical components of Overo and DuoVero systems, expansion boards allow Gumstix users to select which features they require in their design. Expansion boards may be used to evaluate Gumstix COMs, develop full-fledged product prototypes or can be completely customized by the user thanks to the freely available schematics.

Single-Board Computers[edit]

Pepper SBC[edit]

The Pepper single-board computer (SBC) is built on the Texas Instruments Sitara AM3359 applications processor. Unlike Gumstix COMs and expansion boards, Pepper's hardware features are entirely contained on a single circuit board.

microSD, Bluetooth and 802.11g wireless interfaces, synchronous and asynchronous serial, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, RS-232 and more in a very small form factor. The company provides Linux for the OpenEmbedded build environment.

Other Computers[edit]

The Gumstix Waysmall Silverlode is available as a fully enclosed computer system. It consists of a Gumstix Overo and Tobi expansion board pre-assembled in an aluminum case.

Motherboards[edit]

A side-by-side size comparison of a United States Quarter (24 mm diameter), a Gumstix Overo Earth, a stick of gum, and the Gumstix Summit expansion board.

Gumstix motherboards are single-board computers available in two different configurations. The brand names for these are Overo Earth and Verdex Pro. The Overo Earth uses a TI OMAP 3503 processor running at 600 MHz and has 256 MB of SDRAM, the Verdex Pro uses a Marvell XScale PXA270 processor running at 400 or 600 MHz with up to 128 MB of SDRAM. Both boards run Linux 2.6 with BusyBox, and use the OpenEmbedded build environment to provide a full-blown Linux environment and a large range of Linux applications.

Additional features can be added to all motherboards with expansion cards connected via one or both on-board buses. The motherboards draw less than 250 mA @4V at 400 MHz without Bluetooth and less than 50 mA while idling.[7][8]

Overo Earth[edit]

The Overo Earth was released in July 2008.[9] It provides improvements over previous designs, including upgraded memory (it has 256 MB of flash and 256 MB of SDRAM), a new processor (a 600 MHz TI OMAP 3503 processor), and a new connector system employing two connectors to the daughtercard, improving board stack reliability.

Overo Air[edit]

The Overo Air was released in April 2009.[10] It adds wireless networking and Bluetooth capabilities to the Overo Earth module.

Overo Water[edit]

The Overo Water was released in early July, 2008. It provides improvements over previous designs, including upgraded memory (it has 256 MB of flash and 256 MB of SDRAM), a newer processor than that of its counterpart, the Overo Earth, the Texas Instruments OMAP 3530 720 MHz processor.

Overo Fire[edit]

The Overo Fire was released in April 2009.[10] It adds wireless networking and Bluetooth capabilities to the Overo Water module.

Verdex Pro[edit]

The Verdex Pro motherboards have up to 128 MB RAM, on-board StrataFlash up to 32 MB, an onboard 60-pin Hirose I/O header, an 80-pin Molex connector for connecting additional expansion cards. The boards can be ordered with Infineon Bluetooth as an option.

Verdex Pro motherboards may be ordered in volume with processor speeds of 300, 400, 500 and 600 MHz with any combination of RAM, flash, and expansion board connectors.

Discontinued motherboards[edit]

The Basix and Connex motherboards were available in three versions, (200, 400-xm and 400xm-bt), all based around the XScale PXA255 processor and had 64 MB of RAM and 4-16 MB of onboard Flash. The motherboards could connect to a variety of expansion boards via a 60-pin Hirose connector. Basix boards had an MMC slot, while the Connex had an additional 92-pin expansion connector. The -bt version included an onboard Bluetooth module.[11][12]

Verdex motherboards, upgraded to the XScale PXA270, were again available in three models (XM4, XM4-bt and XL6P).[13]

Verdex motherboards have up to 128 MB RAM, up to 32 MB of on-board StrataFlash, an on-board 60-pin Hirose I/O header, a 120-pin Molex connector for connecting expansion cards and an optional Bluetooth module. The Verdex was an upgrade from the Basix and Connex motherboards, adding a second expansion bus via a 120-pin Molex connector, USB host capability (12 megabit/second), and higher capacity RAM and flash memory options.

Basix and Connex boards were discontinued in May 2009.[14] The Verdex is currently being phased-out (as of May 2009), replaced by the Verdex Pro.[15]

Computers[edit]

Gumstix has two encased computer products, under the brand names Netstix and Waysmall. Neither product supports connecting to a desktop monitor, although the company sells expansion boards that allow the use of a variety of small LCD touchscreen displays.[16]

Instead of connecting input devices such as keyboards or mice directly, users access the device through a serial port, using the keyboard and monitor from a host PC running a terminal emulator.[17]

Netstix[edit]

The Netstix computers, based on the Connex motherboard, provide 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet connected computers with CompactFlash (CF) for storage.

Waysmall[edit]

The Waysmall computer product line uses the Basix motherboard and connects to a host computer via USB using a serial connection and a terminal emulator.[18] It has an onboard MultiMediaCard (MMC) read/write device, and can read and write to external memory via this interface.

Software development kit[edit]

Gumstix uses the OpenEmbedded software framework to track and fetch dependencies, cross-compile packages and build complete images by using BitBake. After building, the rootfs image and the kernel are transferred to the Gumstix through a serial connection, using compact flash or MMC type cards or through Ethernet network (depending on the system configuration and what expansion boards are used)

Additional software can be downloaded prebuilt directly from the Gumstix repositories or compiled using BitBake. Software is installed and managed using ipkg packages.

Engineering and expansion[edit]

Gumstix provides product diagrams and schematics[19] to aid customers in the design and visualization of new product enclosures and custom expansion boards.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]